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Whose Willie Was It?

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shocked-tween-on-cellphone.jpgMy favorite story of Christmas week was about the Philadelphia Traffic Court judge escorted off the premises because he allegedly showed photos of his genitals to a female court employee.

The appropriately named Willie Singletary was relieved of his judicial duties by Gary Glazer, a Common Please judge named as interim head of Traffic Court.

Singletary, 29, had a shot of his penis on his cell phone, which he shared with a female information technology worker, according to news reports.  She was not pleased  and filed a sexual harassment complaint.  At which point, Singletary is said to have confronted her to try to get the complaint withdrawn.

If the charges stick, it will be the end of a brief but meteoric career for Singletary, who was first elected to Traffic Court in 2007 due to the fact that he drew top spot on the ballot. Since the voters don't know who the hell the candidates are they gravitate to the top spot.  Willie won it.

Later, it came out that Singletary was something of an expert on Traffic Court; he was a scofflaw who owed $11,500 in back fines.

Actually, it nearly came out before the election.  In 2007, I was a columnist for the Inquirer and working on a piece about candidates who owed taxes, back fines, etc.

In making a check of public records, I found that a Willie Singletary owed about $11,000 in past-due fines and that his drivers license had been suspended due to the volume of the violations.  He had the same home address as the candidate.

So, I rang up Singletary the candidate and asked him if he was the same Willie Singletary who owed the fines.

No, he said, I am not.

I asked: Well, who is it?

He replied: It's my brother.

I asked: What's his name?

He replied: Willie Singletary.

Singletary proceeded to tell me that his father had named each of his three or four sons (I forget how many exactly) Willie. And that it was these Willies who racked up the tickets. Not Willie the candidate.

Needless to say, I was skeptical of this alibi.

But, the records were confusing. There were different birth dates on some of the records. Being a columnist, though, I had to move on. I didn't have time to untangle the case of the multiple Willies. I did turn the case over to our investigative team, but they did not get to it before the election.

It came out later that the Willie Singletary who was the candidate was the same Willie who got the tickets. When I had called, he lied to me to throw me off the track. He succeeded.

So, Philadelphia, I hereby apologize for any role I had in letting Willie Singletary get onto the bench. Though I draw the line at being responsible for the whole penis on display thing.

I also relate the incident in the event that Singletary tries to use the defense again: that the penis in those pictures, was not his penis. It was the penis of his brother, Willie. Or perhaps his other brother Willie. Or yet another brother Willie.

Perhaps by raising questions over whose willie it was, Willie can avoid the wrath of the Supreme Court and be reinstated on the bench.

Considered your self forewarned. It worked for Willie once. Maybe he'll be tempted to try it again. Photos to follow of the various willies of the Willies.

-- Tom Ferrick

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